Organizing the Inside 365 Days

Empowering Christian Women To Get Organized and Discover God's Plan for Their Lives

Archive for April, 2012

Organizing the Inside – Day 240 Think Creatively, Plan Strategically

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. Genesis 1:26a (NLT)

God is the Ultimate Strategist.
He calls every believer to think creatively as He does. Even those who are not necessarily leaders are required to think through their decisions. It was never God’s intent for man to follow along blindly; if that were so, I suspect He would have only given the ability to think and see to those in leadership. In Genesis we read about how man is made in the image and likeness of God. When I consider the awesome creative qualities of God, I can’t help but wonder if we are really living out our full potential in life. God, who created heaven and earth, actually formed you and me to be like Him. (Genesis 1:27)

God obviously had a plan “B”
In order to be a creative thinker who plans strategically you must follow God’s pattern and improve systems and processes. He sent Jesus to redeem us, that we would have an abundant life. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10b (KJV)  Sin had separated man from God and He made strategic plans for a more excellent way. No longer are we to sacrifice bulls or goats. How awesome, God did all this because He loves us and wants to have fellowship with us. We are no longer under the system of legalism, working feverishly to obey all the written laws to please God. No longer are His laws written only on stone, but now He has placed them on our hearts. We no longer obey Him through the law, but now we obey Him through our personal relationship and faith in Jesus Christ. After all that He then put on the finishing touch by filling us with the power of His Holy Spirit, which seals us and ensures our success. It is mind-boggling to me the great planning that went into God’s redemption of man.

What old systems in your life do you need to change?
Consider your daily routines and how they are working with your lifestyle. What about the way you handle your finances, or manage your time? Do any other systems need to change? You were created in the very image and likeness of God. He is a creative strategist who indeed has been known to consider making changes to the original plan. Take a moment to say yes to what God has already spoken to your heart about changing. Don’t just consider making changes, but make them. All the planning and strategic thinking in the world means nothing when they aren’t acted upon, and remain as ideas in our heads. Are there things that are no longer working in your life? Just as God changed the old system of laws, by sending Jesus to fulfill the law, make whatever changes are necessary to bring all areas of your life in line with God’s plan and purpose for you. Smart people think strategically, and truly successful people do so while being led by the Holy Spirit. Start now, change what’s not working.

Organizing the Inside – Day 239 Prepare To Receive Your Dream

And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly. 2 Chronicles 29:36 (KJV)

Capitalize on every opportunity to glorify God.
It seems helpful to lay out my clothes the day before a big presentation. I have a long “must do” list to prepare. Now I study and practice, no matter how awesome I think I am. Years back, after the embarrassing flop that appeared to put listeners to sleep, I learned a hard lesson about planning and preparation. It is never an option to not prepare. Being over-confident is a lonely road back to reality. Being willing to do what God calls you to do is step one, but beyond that you must still prepare for the challenges that are ahead. Don’t ever assume that just because of your calling and gifts there is no need to prepare. Take it from me, BIG MISTAKE sister.
“And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. Luke 12:47 (NLT) Shortly after my horrifying blunder I promised myself and God that not being prepared was behind me. Unless the stars fell from the sky, my middle name was “Prepared,” because I would never humiliate myself that way again. When we aren’t prepared we miss so many opportunities to glorify God.

You must prepare for your dream.
If you have asked God for something, you must prepare during the process. Most requests don’t happen instantaneously; there is a waiting period. Maximize this opportunity as your gift of time to prepare. If you are given everything you’ve believed for within 15 minutes of reading this, would you be ready to receive it; or would you suddenly find yourself scrambling to prepare? Don’t lose hope and begin to prepare and expect your dreams to come true. If you’ve stopped preparing, regroup and do those things that are necessary to get ready. Remember God has promised to give you and me the desires of our heart. So let’s remain in a state of readiness to receive the promises of God. We have come much too far to even consider turning back. Stand firm on His promises with the confidence of knowing, God’s power and provisions will always exceed our cleverness and our failures.

Let’s plan the work and then work the plan! Make a list of what you need to do to prepare yourself and those around you to receive the blessings that are surely on the way. Never lose sight of your dream, it very well may come suddenly; so take this time to prepare.

Organizing the Inside – Day 238 Love Deeply, Give Generously

You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. 1 Peter 1:22 (NLT)

If you don’t know say so.
If you are unsure admit that too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. No man is an island unto himself and often it’s our pride that causes us to make up excuses why we’d rather not ask someone for help. Many women in the body of Christ are afraid to ask their sisters in Christ for a helping hand. Often times we put up facades that make us seem unassuming or simply too busy to care or offer help. God is NOT pleased when sisters are so often opposed to providing support or being supported. Allowing your weaknesses to be seen by someone other than your spouse is really okay. If we can’t love, support and trust those in the household of faith, than who can we trust?

If you need help, ask for it.
Conversely, if you know of a sister who could use your help or expertise, offer it. If you take your gifts and hide them under a basket, what good are they doing for the body of Christ? You do well to use your gifts in your own private household; but that’s not where your giving should end. We know that the church is composed of many members, all with a different function and all adding great value. Don’t hide your gifts or special abilities! Perhaps you’re shy or just lazy, neither will be an excuse that is able to justify why you didn’t do the good you knew you could do when it was in your power to do so. Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it. Proverbs 3:27 (KJV) Not every opportunity to give is the right one for you, but be open as the Spirit leads.

God sees your needs and He adequately meets them.
A sister mentioned how she was in need of prayer. Great she wanted help, and she asked for it. The Holy Spirit immediately brought to mind a scripture. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. James 5:16a,b (KJV) We should pray for, help and lift up one another. Be determined to no longer have your hand in the pot only to take, but also to add something of value. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. Luke 6:38 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 237 The Wise Seek God First

27Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. 28And this is what he says to all humanity: The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding. Job 28:27, 28

Be careful in your quest for wisdom.
There is so much great information out there. So many blogs, books and manuscripts; many countless words of great wisdom and immeasurable knowledge, much of which is easy to find. Endless streams of words are strung along on the pages left for us by great writers we may never meet. Wise men and women of God who understand the importance of embracing wisdom and obtaining knowledge have created for us volumes that collect and display their divine intellect. Great and hard to resist, they are like hidden treasures; these nuggets of wisdom guide us, remind us and speak to us. Surely knowledge has taken her seat among royalty, yes great kings rule by its trusted friend wisdom.

Should one’s search go on forever?
Voices in our lives often speak truths that nudge us along the way. These voices are helpful, yet endless. God guides many teachers and writers to capture and classify the timeless capsules of rich life lessons. Yes, infinite lessons, but for those whose time to grasp it all is finite. We must seek wisdom and understanding Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7 (KJV) But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out. Ecclesiastes 12:12 (NLT) To everything there is a beginning and an ending. For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to search and a time to quit searching. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6 (NLT)

Pure wisdom and true understanding come from God.
Books are plentiful and the words of men are endless…absolutely endless. All the collections of works and words, who can find the end? Be mindful in your search for knowledge; remember that your capacity to retain will far exceed your strength to obtain. In all our many tasks, both great and small there must be balance. In your quest to find truth, just remember to live, live, live the truth you have found so far. For life is so much more than a great study meet; it doesn’t consist of an endless search for answers in books, and words, and writings. Life consists of our deliberate desire to love God with our whole heart, which is displayed in a willingness to honor and serve Him with our entire life.

Organizing the Inside – Day 236 Take Time to Listen

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19 (NLT)

Slow down and listen.
It’s late Friday evening and you’re frustrated that you haven’t been able to head home from work yet. Your boss has now set you off with a comment he made about your schedule. You are all fired up and decide to not let him out of the office until he clarifies what he meant. Once you’ve calmed down you take time to listen to what he was trying to communicate earlier. Now you realize that the offensive comment (you thought you heard) was a complete misunderstanding.

The Holy Spirit is the Master Communicator.
Keeping the lines of communication with God open will help eliminate misunderstandings before they happen. The Holy Spirit really is our attitude regulator. As long as we keep our hearts in tune, we won’t unknowingly override His gentle promptings. O LORD, do good to those who are good, whose hearts are in tune with you. Psalm 125:4 (NLT) Misunderstandings often occur when we are too busy to pay full attention to what’s being said. The stress and tension that miscommunication can create may put a strain on even the strongest relationships. When you are feeling overwhelmed or agitated from the daily demands of your responsibilities, take a quick moment of reflection before engaging in a conversation you expect may be frustrating. By reflecting on God’s Word, you will be better prepared to resist the temptation to “jump to conclusions.” Don’t allow your day to be hijacked by a would-be joy robber, when God has given you the mind of Christ. The minute you start to feel your peace slip away, take a minute to ask the Holy Spirit to help you pull yourself together. Don’t wait until you’ve responded inappropriately before you consider correcting your disposition.

Be fully present and always show respect for others by caring enough to listen.
Life was not meant to be lived on autopilot. Heighten your sensitivity to the plight of the lost. View almost every conversation as a possible opportunity for ministry, especially when dealing with the unsaved. Your anger or unkind disposition will never achieve God’s righteous purpose, so keep defensive attitudes at bay. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. James 1:20 (NLT) Inspire someone today by caring enough to take time to attentively listen.

Organizing the Inside – Day 235 I Changed My Mind Again and Again

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6 (NLT)

Allow God to change your heart and your mind will follow.
You have taken your problem to a completely new level. You have analyzed it, broken it down, turned it sideways and the flipped it over again. You can’t seem to stop thinking about it, and now you feel you are closing in on obsessive behavior. It is keeping you up at night, and when you do finally fall asleep this problem shows up in your dreams. You often feel worried and overwhelmed. It’s time to invite God to change your heart.

Let’s face it worrying is SINFUL behavior.
If you are going over your problems that much, stop kidding yourself, that is not your analytical mind, that’s worry. Be honest, if you’re worried, you are not trusting God. Trusting God leads to a peace that assures me, He will never leave or forsake me. There is a change coming to your situation; so why are you looking down as though you’ve been defeated? Look up!!  1I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.  3He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Turning toward God is the key to getting unstuck!
To know Him is to love Him.
To love Him is to trust Him.
To trust Him is to serve Him.

One minute we trust Him, the next minute, maybe not so much. You want to fix it yourself. Then you realize you can’t, and you are only making things worse. Now you’ve become even more overwhelmed. So you give your problem to Him, oops you forgot (God had it) and you picked it up again. (I have been there, more than a few times) Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 (NIV) God is calling us today to “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

Make a conscious decision today that you are going to take that problem to God and leave it there. Here are a few steps to help you through the process:
1. Write down what’s troubling you.
2. Find a scripture that speaks to your problem or concern, write that down next to the problem.
3. Make time for prayer.
4. Go BOLDLY before the throne of grace.
5. Acknowledge your guilt; you’ve been holding on to this issue, far too long.
6. Tell God exactly how you feel and bring God’s Word before Him.
7. Let it GO! Stay in prayer until you have completely handed it over and are done trying to handle things your own way.

Once you have completely let go, praise God.
Now that you have released your burdens to God, allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. Ask for direction on how to trust Him and walk by faith. What should your next steps be? Get a notebook and pen and take notes as the Holy Spirit speaks to you about what to do. Create the “TO DO LIST” that God wants you to have and get started now, don’t wait. Faith is about action, but worrying keeps you stuck. Get unstuck and allow God to be in charge of your “LISTS”. Start now!

Organizing the Inside – Day 234 Is The Past Holding You Back?

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)

Clutter and disorganization, an outward manifestation of an inward condition.
Have you ever taken a closet inventory and wanted to scream? Not your spiritual closet, let’s not go that deep just yet. I’m talking about your clothes closet. While helping a client recently, I could see how she felt tied to her past. The longer we worked on getting her closet organized, the more I came to realize that she was deeply attached to her stuff. God revealed to me that the reason for her sadness was due to her recent downsizing. She hadn’t fully accepted that her new home was not as grand and spacious as before. She seemed desperate to go back to what she felt was better times. I saw in her the same common denominator among many who have too much stuff.  She couldn’t get excited about her new closet, because she was stuck trying to hold on to the past. So it is with many Christian women who can’t get excited about what God is doing right now and in the future; they are too consumed with the past.

God wants us to put our stuff in proper perspective.
Realize that having emotional attachments to things is not what God intended. Once you lose your focus, the pursuit of things often becomes the “why” behind what you do. Even those things that have sentimental value sometimes keep us holding on to the past. Consider the real reason you have old greeting cards, clothes that you no longer can wear, or that special something that you absolutely refuse to let go of. Challenge yourself to put your stuff in its proper place. Clutter can keep you from achieving God’s righteous purpose. Whether your clutter is physical, mental or spiritual God has called us to live a life of simplicity. Clutter can hold you back from reaching your goals. Old relationships, memories and things can keep you from being productive. God wants your life to be free from bondage, of any kind. Find ways to embrace something new; it begins when you let go of the past.

If you are stuck, here’s a list of my favorite
21 Fearless Questions Every Christian Woman Must Ask Herself.

Organizing the Inside – Day 233 It’s Worship Time!

1Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—3who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  Psalm 103:1-5 (NIV)

Declare worship time.
There are times when we must demand that our entire being find that place of worship.  David told his soul what to do, then he repeated the message to his soul and reminded himself  that God was worthy of this high level praise. Forget not all of his benefits – David deemed it important that his entire being recognize God for all that He is and all that He has done. When organizing the inner also make sure that (all that is within) the mind and body also follow along and agree when it’s time to worship.

Live a life of true worship.
A goal for every Christian is to live a life of true worship. Everything we say and do should give honor and praise to God. God is worthy of our praise and daily worshiping Him is non-negotiable if we want to stay in tune with the Spirit. Especially if feeling tired, defeated or worn-out, this is the time when we have to demand worship.  On good days and during tough times, speak to your soul and all that is within you. Let your soul know when it’s “worship time” and acknowledge His sovereignty. As you enter that place of true worship, may the Holy Spirit renew your strength  and empower you to carry out His will each new day.

Organizing the Inside – Day 232 The Safest Place On Earth

3As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. 4The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” 5But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. 6The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god. Acts 28:3-6 (NLT)

There is no safer place, than in the will of God.
No harm will come to you. God will protect His investment and keep your life for the work of the kingdom. The heat of the fire drove the snake out and it launched an attack on Paul. When your life is being purified, the enemy will often try to sneak in an attack. When God has a plan for your life, even the deadly attacks of the enemy will do you no harm. The natives, who watched as the poisonous snake held on to Paul’s hand, commented that this was because of some evil that Paul had committed. Paul only shook the snake off into the fire and was unharmed. Once the superstitious onlookers realized that Paul wasn’t going to drop dead from the poisonous snake bite, that in their ignorance they concluded he must be a god.

When God has a call on your life, He will keep you.
Beware of onlookers who are unbelievers, they will often speak of things they know nothing about. Be wise about who you allow to speak into your life. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues. Psalm 31:20 (NIV)
2. Remember when you are going through hard times, the devil may see this as an opportunity to strike out against you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)
3. Know that although the enemy may try to attack you, he has already been defeated.
4. Know that when God has a call on your life, He will protect you from all sorts of danger. They will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; Mark 16:18 (NIV)

We also see in the previous chapter how God used the commanding officer to protect Paul’s life. (Acts 27:27-42) The scripture encourages us to keep moving forward in what God has called us to do. There is no danger or trap that is able to stop the plan of God. Continue to trust God to keep you, and don’t be afraid of dangers whether seen or unseen. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.  Psalm 91:5 (NLT) Boldly pursue the purpose of God for your life; He is faithful and will keep His promises toward us. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Hebrews 10:23 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 231 When I Don’t Feel Like Giving Thanks

15So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 20And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:15-17 (NLT)

When I don’t feel like thanking God.
Paul encourages us to give thanks to God for everything.  When I first read this, I thought, I could think of a few things that I had no desire to thank God for. I know God’s Word is 100% true, it is absolutely infallible, yet Paul seemed to have missed the mark on this one. Yet, I am reminded, And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NLT) In all things, the conclusion of the matter is that God will be glorified. Feelings do have a place, but our feelings cannot set the direction for our lives, nor regulate when or why we worship God.

Make the most of every opportunity.
God must be gloried. He is worthy to receive all honor and glory in every situation. We should have a sense of urgency to respond to everything in a way that acknowledges and yields to the power and purpose of God. When those around us are faced with difficult trials, our arrival on the scene should bring the power, the blessing, the love, the truth, the hope, the joy, and the wisdom of God. Whether it’s through prayer, encouragement or rebuke as children of God we bring God’s glory.

The world does not understand.
We however, do understand that there is a power resting within us that transcends the present circumstances. Apart from Christ we can do nothing and without Him we are nothing. The world cannot understand the calming comfort of the Lord you experience while in mourning. The world cannot comprehend the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. Even in our suffering and pain the world will see that there is One who is greater than any sorrow.

So why should we give thanks to God for everything?
He alone is worthy of all honor, majesty, dominion and power. He is worthy of all GLORY!